placenta disposal

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Date:Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:01:25 EDT
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     I need some ideas as to how different hospital Histology labs are 
disposing of their placentas. In the old days this was not a problem because 
they were not retained at all but went out with the trash with the other OB 
material at birth. Our L&D supervisor wants us to keep all placentas at least 
two days after delivery in case of infant distress. This means that we have 
to provide an 86oz.bucket and formalin for each delivery. The buckets run $1 
ea., the formalin to cover =about $4.50 per bucket,the neutralizer for 
formalin is about $25 (to treat a carbouy). Then it takes tech time and 
exposure to dump the placentas for weekly pick-up by a waste hauler(OSHA's 
run on generators of 25# of waste per week). This adds up to hundreds of $ 
per month and thousands per year for a non revenue generating function. I 
have heard that some hospitals use ziplock baggies with no fixative and 
freeze the placentas. Then they can be picked up every 90 days. In the past 
20 years we have had to go back and look at 2 placentas in this manor. Of 
course, if the OB-Gyn Dr. sees anything suspicious at delivery, ie:merconium 
stains,abruption etc, it is processed as a routine surgical. I hope that I 
can get some feedback as to your proceedures , or some insight as to whether 
you retain placentas at all.                                            

 Thanks in advance,
Brian Fischer
Histology Sup.
Community Hosp. of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP)
PObox HH 

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